Federal Grant Scam Making Its Way Across Oklahoma

Monday, September 1st 2014, 9:37 pm
By: News 9

Scammers are targeting our state and an Oklahoma City couple is sending out a warning. Someone claiming to be with the federal government is after a quick buck and if you fall for it, you'll be out hundreds.

Perry Mason and his wife say they're being told they're eligible for up to $10,000 in federal grant money.

“Two are the same number here, and then here's a different number,” said Mason showing his cell phone call log.

And these scammers are persistent according to Mason. Scammers with heavy foreign accents have called his cell phone nearly 20 times this summer alone.

“The only requirement that we have made to receive these funds is that we have not filed bankruptcy, and we're not going to use the funds for any illicit or criminal activity,” said Mason.

Otherwise, Perry says they told him he could use the money, anywhere between $7,000 to $10,000, any way he wants. And, it never has to be paid back.

“I've been a good citizen all my life and I've never had the federal government just give me funds that have not been earned or worked for,” said Mason.

According to an online government warning, the mission for the scammer is to get a processing fee of up to $700 loaded onto a money card.

“He was even willing to stay on the phone with me while I left the house to get the money so he could get the code off the back of the card,” said Mason.

Once that number is given, the scammer says the grant will be wired through Western Union. Of course, that never happens, and if you fall for the scam, you're out several hundred dollars.

“You're call cannot be completed.”

Both numbers Perry has been getting calls from no longer work.

“They seem to be preying on people that they know are senior citizens and or retired,” said Mason. “If we don't take an active role or bring it to the attention of people, someone else may fall prey.”

Fortunately, Perry and his wife never fell for the scam.

The FTC offers a few basic rules that can keep you from losing money to government grant scams.